Partisan sparks fly over Valencia chief's resignation

Socialists and PP swap barbs regarding Gürtel and Faisán cases

A day after Francisco Camps stepped down as Valencia's regional chief, both the Socialists and Popular Party (PP) riled each other over corruption and public image. The opposition called on Socialist candidate Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba to follow Camps' example and stand down, while the Socialists accused the PP of being afraid that the indicted Camps would reveal the names of "his dangerous friends."

On Thursday, Camps' lawyer filed a motion with the Valencia High Court stating that his client will go to trial on bribery charges over allegations that he accepted dress suits from the corrupt business network known as Gürtel.

Camps resigned on Wednesday after declining his party's offer to remain as regional premier if he pleaded guilty and paid a fine. PP leader Mariano Rajoy wanted to avoid an embarrassing trial as he prepares for his third run in the prime minister's race.

More information
The day Camps changed his mind
Valencia regional premier Francisco Camps resigns
Rajoy offers "future" for resigning Valencia premier

Esteban González Pons, the PP spokesman, said that Camps made a decision of "great political value" after consulting with his family and without "the pressure of Mariano Rajoy."

"Rubalcaba should take a sip from Camps' medicine bottle," Pons said, in reference to the so-called Faisán case. The PP has been calling for Rubalcaba, who has not been charged, to step aside as the Socialist candidate after three law enforcement officers were indicted in an alleged ETA tip-off case that saw a 2006 police raid botched during his tenure as interior minister.

Antonio Hernando, Socialist deputy campaign manager, called Pons' statement "clearly unethical" and said the PP was interested in keeping Camps "quiet so no one can find out who his dangerous friends are in the Gürtel case."

Castellón Mayor Alberto Fabra is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday as Camps' successor after he was selected by the Valencia PP committee.

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